The Final Democratic Candidates’ Positions on Apple and Big Tech

Bernie Sanders Credit: Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock
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It has been little more than a month since the Iowa Caucuses opened the Democratic primaries, and the possible candidates have shrunk significantly.

In the days before this last Super Tuesday, several candidates have stepped away from their campaigns, including Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer.

Less than 48 hours after Super Tuesday, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren also declared that they had dropped out.

So what do the remaining Democratic candidates stand for regarding the tech industry and Apple specifically? Let’s dive in.

Joe Biden

After a successful campaign in South Carolina and a tremendous turnout on Super Tuesday, the former vice president is now standing as the leading candidate in the Democratic primaries. He is the most popular moderate candidate, able to maintain a strong positive relationship with the party leadership.

When it comes to his policies on technology and Apple products, Biden has been mostly quiet. He, like most of his previous candidates, supports the use of antitrust to break up tech companies like Apple and Facebook. In an interview with the AP, Biden stated that “I don’t think we spend nearly enough time focusing on antitrust measures. And the truth of the matter is I think it’s something we should take a tough look at.” 

Biden seems to be the most popular candidate among the leaders of tech companies. Mother Jones reports that moderate candidates like Biden and Pete Buttigieg received the most political donations from mid-level tech supervisors. Some even believe that Silicon Valley companies like Apple could invest significantly in Biden through a Super PAC called Unite the Country. This is mostly due to his willingness to accept Super-PAC funding.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders set a massive standard in early state races, coming out on top. While the Vermont senator is not leading post-Super Tuesday, he only maintains a small margin of loss that can easily be made up in the coming weeks and months.

Sanders has been an extremely vocal critic of many tech companies, including Amazon and Facebook. He will often discuss using anti-trust to break up and regulate these companies, although Apple is rarely mentioned in these conversations.

Sanders has also been a vocal advocate for right-to-repair policies, an ideology that focuses on allowing farmers and other consumers the ability to fix their own machines and goods without paying for extra services from the original company.

This would extend to Apple products as well, which are notorious for how difficult self-repairs can be with newer devices.

Sanders has also criticized the $2.5 billion stimuli that Apple invested in the California housing crisis. In a Facebook post, Sanders states that “Apple’s announcement that it is entering the real estate lending business is an effort to distract from the fact that it has helped create California’s housing crisis…while raking in $800 million of taxpayer subsidies, keeping a quarter trillion dollars of profit offshore, to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. Today, more than 134,000 Californians are homeless and renters need to earn $34.69 per hour to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. We cannot rely on corporate tax evaders to solve California’s housing crisis.”

While surveying donations, Vox found that employees from Apple, Amazon, and Google (specifically those in an entry-level position) gave more political donations to Sanders’ campaign than any other Democratic candidate. This correlates fairly well with the political status of California, where Sanders maintained a significant hold on the primary. Some affiliate this to the aforementioned housing crisis, which has made it difficult for many people in lower-income brackets.

It should be noted that Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii representative is still in the race despite floundering odds. While the candidate’s resiliency is notable, she appears to have little to say on anything tech-oriented beyond a recent lawsuit against Google.

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